Cost analysis of antiretroviral agents available in India
Keywords:Human immunodeficiency virus, National pharmaceutical pricing authority, Antiretroviral therapy, Drug price control order, Pharma industry
Background: AIDS is one of the most prevalent causes of death due to infectious origin which requires a lifelong therapy. There is variation in prices of antiretroviral drugs available in Indian market. Thus, a study was planned to find out variation in prices of antiretroviral drugs either as a single drug or in combination and to evaluate the difference in cost of various brands of the same antiretroviral drugs by calculating percentage variation in cost in Indian rupees.
Methods: Cost of antiretroviral drugs manufactured by different pharmaceutical companies, in the same strength and dosage forms was obtained from “Current Index of Medical Specialties” July-October 2014 and “Indian Drug Review” Vol. XXI, Issue No. 4, 2014. The difference in the maximum and minimum price of the same drug manufactured by different pharmaceutical companies and percentage variation in cost was calculated.
Results: Percentage variation in cost for antiretroviral drugs marketed in India was found to be zidovudine (100 mg) - 436%, lamivudine (100 mg) - 268%, tenofovir (300 mg) - 149.5%, didanosine (250 mg) - 73.75%, indinavir (400 mg) - 35.26%. Among the combination therapy, price variation was lamivudine + zidovudine (150 + 300 mg) - 314%, lamivudine + stavudine (150 + 40 mg) - 105%, lopinavir + ritonavir (133.3 + 33 mg) - 25%.
Conclusion: There is wide variation in the prices of antiretroviral agents available in the market. Regulatory authorities, pharma companies, physicians should maximize their efforts to reduce the cost of drugs.
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